Crane – Fast and Migratable GPU Passthrough for OpenCL applications

James Gleeson, Daniel Kats, Charlie Mei, Eyal de Lara
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
University of Toronto, Technical Report, 2017


   title={Technical report: Crane-Fast and Migratable GPU Passthrough for OpenCL applications},

   author={Gleeson, James and Kats, Daniel and Mei, Charlie and de Lara, Eyal},



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General purpose GPU (GPGPU) computing in virtualized environments leverages PCI passthrough to achieve GPU performance comparable to bare-metal execution. However, GPU passthrough prevents service administrators from performing virtual machine migration between physical hosts. Crane is a new technique for virtualizing OpenCL-based GPGPU computing that achieves within 5.25% of passthrough GPU performance while supporting VM migration. Crane interposes a virtualization-aware OpenCL library that makes it possible to reclaim and subsequently reassign physical GPUs to a VM without terminating the guest or its applications. Crane also enables continued GPU operation while the VM is undergoing live migration by transparently switching between GPU passthrough operation and API remoting.

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